Talking to nurses about pain

While laying in the hospital bed after my recent surgery, a young nurse came into my room and asked what my pain level was, on a range from zero to ten.

I replied that it wasn’t bad at all, maybe a one or two at most, and I didn’t need any pain medicine.

She said that was great. She said that a lot of people immediately say they’re at a nine or ten.

I replied that I’d never say anything that high, I always thought a nine or ten should be saved for something really bad, like if you were just stabbed or shot.

She said, “I know, right. Or maybe broken bones ... or a heart attack.” She paused and then said, “Lately I’ve been wondering if giving birth is a 9 or 10.”

“Could be,“ I said, “I don’t know about that one.” Then I told her that I remembered that Carol Burnett said that giving birth is like taking your lower lip and pulling it up over your head. I don’t know if she knew who Carol Burnett is, but she laughed.

I was curious about why she had that particular thought and was about to ask when another nurse walked in and joined us in the pain of childbirth conversation. Eventually a third nurse came in and joined the conversation, a benefit of having a room next to the nurse’s station.

At one point during the discussion my hospital dress (gown) slipped down a little bit on the top, and one of the nurses looked at my chest and said that if I ever have to do the waxing scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin it would be okay if I called that a nine or ten. I thanked her, and said that I hoped it would never come to that.